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Red Rock Coulee

Red Rock Coulee
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-05
Categories: Desert
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Geological Wonders [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-05 12:30
Viewed: 6645
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello all, this posting is dedicated to Evelynn and is of Red Rock Coulee Natural Area near Medicine Hat. Taken at dawn thus the long shadows, the hill you see in the distance is Gold Butte part of the Sweet Grass Hills in Montana, some one hundred kilomsters away.
Red Rock Coulee
Many features make Red Rock Coulee a special site to visit. Bedrock is close to the surface in this area, covered by only a thin layer of soil. Water erosion has carved the landscape over time and a badlands topography has formed in places. The bands of colour visible in the exposed bedrock are made of dark gray shales, greenish and gray sandstones, bentonitic clays and thin bands of ironstone.

The most striking features of this landscape are the round reddish boulders. These are sandstone concretions and at up to 2.5 metres in diameter, they are among the largest in the world. The boulders were formed in prehistoric seas as layers of sand, calcite and iron oxide collected around a nucleus formed by shells, leaves or bones. The concretions grew larger as the circulating waters deposited more layers. The reddish colour comes from iron oxide. Look carefully at the concretions - you may be able to see their "growth rings" (layers of sediment deposition) and fossilized shells, leaves or bones.

On the uplands above the coulees, grasslands contain colourful wildflowers such as Prairie Crocus and Yellow Umbrella Plant and provide habitat for Richardson's Ground Squirrel. Sagebrush, juniper and cactus grow on the coulee walls. Some of the species that have adapted well to the harsh, dry conditions of Red Rock Coulee include the White-tailed Jackrabbit, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Prairie Rattlesnake, Bullsnake, Eastern Short-horned Lizard and Scorpions. Prairie Falcon, Western Meadowlark, Sprague's Pipit, Longspurs and Rock Wren are among the birds sighted.

The Sweet Grass Hills

Sweet Grass Hills Country
The Sweet Grass Hills are located in North Central Montana, north of Highway 2, right near the Canadian border. The Sweet Grass Hills consist of 3 distinct buttes with scattered grassy hills connecting them. The three buttes are West Butte (elevation of 6983 feet), Gold Butte (elevation of 6512 feet) and East Butte (elevation of 6958 feet). The three buttes and the hills between them run for about 50 miles east to west and are about 10 miles in distance from north to south. The two nearest main towns to the Sweet Grass Hills are Shelby to the southwest and Havre which is to the southeast. As a side note, these are known as the "Sweet Grass Hills" and not the "Sweetgrass Hills", so as to avoid any possible confusion.

pirate, Evelynn, ramthakur, mikou, ridvan, vizion, lovenature, manyee, horia, stevkds, uleko, peter_stoeckl, SkyF, SunToucher has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: HelpAdanac 2 05-06 14:10
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2007-05-05 12:35]

Hi Rick
Great landscape, perfect compo, great DOF and very exciting light conditions, very usefull notes which makes it a perfect package!

These perfectly round shaped boulders are truly among the wonders of nature, Rick.
Thanks for showing them!
I have read your note with deep interest and benefited a lot from the information contained in it.
Once again, thanks for sharing this wonderful image.

Gee, what did I do to deserve this honor? Oh, it must have been the words "gold" and "sweet" that brought me to mind, huh?! Maybe it is the concretions like the ones I posted from along the coast. I'll have to go back and look at mine to see if the layers are visible. Whatever the reason, thank you very much! I do love the low angled light and nice shadows.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-05-05 13:21]

Hi Rick.
Beautiful view with very interesting boulders in foreground and dominant hill in background.I like composition,amazing colors and very nice low lighting.Well done,thanks for sharing and for very interesting note too.
Best greetings Milos.

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-05-05 13:33]

hi rick; very good landscape, excellent copm nice colours,very nice low lighting TFS
all the best

Excellent capture Rick!
I've always wanted to visit Red Rock Coulee, it's on my list. I love the early morning sun of the rocks, it really brings out the colour. The Sweetgrass Hills in the background show so well how vast the area is. I didn't realize the elevation of this area. To cool!
TFS Janice

Hi dear Rick ,
very nice view and excellent captured.
i like this shadow and colours .
well done
thanks for sharing
best wishes

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-06 5:53]

Hi Rick

A very beautiful landscape shot and a terrific dedication from you! I'm sure Evelynn is delighted :)
This definitely is a unique scene and those big reddish boulders are simply amazing. I love the way you composed this photo very much as well as the timing you chose - it gave you those long great shadows that really add a lot to the mood of the shot.
Superb work!

Bravo and TFS

Hi Rick.
Have you beautiful pictures.
This is very interesting motive. Harmony of atmosphere, colours, lightning. Excellent composition. Well done.
tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-06 8:33]

Hello Rick,
Fantastic capture of this landscape in beautiful light and showing these interesting boulders. Amazing hill and colours in the background. I like the POV and it is a brilliant composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello Rick,
this site looks magic, and so is your capture of that site. The unusual shapes of rocks, the rusty colours, the powerful long shadow, the depth of the distant plain and the peak at the horizon draw me right into this fascinating landscape. Excellent. Thank you!
With best regards,

oh wow, neat photo, funny when I saw the thumbnail I thought those rocks were those big round hay bales. What a beautiful place! Great shot, love the sun casting the shadows on the big rock in the foreground...neat spot to visit. TFS

Thanks for your comments on my photo " Vermont Wildflowers (18) " :o)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-07 22:15]

Hello Rick

A wonderful landscape shot,it looks like a very exotic locale.The long shadow in the foreground is neat.Very well composed with an amazing backdrop.Your usual sharp detail and excellent natural colours.TFS


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-05-08 5:59]

Hi Rick,

a landscape??? surely not?? This is great Rick, really nice. Composition is superb and what a view! Great work,


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-09 9:44]

Hi Rick,
great landscape sho, love the POV and the scenery. Great depth on this composition, and the colors and textures are excellent.
Very well composed.

Hi Rick,
It looks like I missed a few shots. These are really strange shaped rocks. When I saw the thumbnail I thought you posted photos of bails of hay. The soft lighting of the morning light gave the rocks a beautiful warm look. I like the different layers of rock visable in the boulders. A pity that you had to deal with the grey sky.

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